October 31, 2018 / 3:34 AM / 20 days ago

Late comeback at Gremio takes River into Libertadores final

Soccer Football - Copa Libertadores - Brazil's Gremio v Argentina's River Plate - Semi Final Second Leg - Arena do Gremio stadium, Porto Alegre, Brazil - October 30, 2018. River Plate's Gonzalo Martinez (R) scores their second goal. REUTERS/Diego Vara

PORTO ALEGRE (Reuters) - River Plate reached the Copa Libertadores final on Tuesday after their 2-1 come-from-behind win at holders Gremio saw them go through on away goals.

River, who lost the first leg 1-0 at home, went a goal down against the run of play after 35 minutes when Leonardo put the Brazilians ahead.

The Buenos Aires side kept pushing forward, however, and Rafael Borre scored the equaliser with 81 minutes gone before the referee awarded them a penalty five minutes later after consulting with the video assistant referee (VAR).

Gonzalo Martinez converted after a long delay and a red card for Gremio’s Bressan and although the referee added 14 minutes of stoppage time the home side could not get another goal.

“We believed all the way until the final minutes, with faith and will to win,” said River’s Javier Pinola. “We deserved to win.”

The remarkable victory sets up the possibility of an all-Argentine final against Boca Juniors, who play Palmeiras in Sao Paulo on Wednesday having won the home leg 2-0.

Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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